Edited from TOFTigers Good Wildlife Travel Guide 2016
Driving through the verdant forests of any of the four sanctuaries of Coorg on a misty morning with the calls of the resident wildlife and bird-life in full song, is an experience unlike any other. The region is ornamented with grassy downs, paddy fields, sloping glades, waterfalls and deep ravines giving you endless and glorious surprises at every turn.
The Coorg region is also known by its local name Kodagu and the region spans about 4,100 square kilometres on the eastern slopes of the rich diversity of the Western Ghats of Karnataka. It is a hilly region with its highest peak, Tadiandamol, rising to 1,750 meters above sea level.
According to ancient Indian treatises this land was called Krodadesa, which later became Kodagu. It is derived from kod, which means give and avva meaning mother, in reference to River Cauvery that sustains life in this region.
The British started coffee cultivation on a large scale in the region and soon the local residents followed suit. Providing the largest contribution of coffee in the country,
Coorg is renowned for its monsoon-fed coffee, shade-grown under giant rosewood, wild fig, and jack-fruit trees that not only nurture but also infuse the bean with their unique aroma and flavour.
Coorg is also an important wildlife destination with its own distinct identity as a major travel attraction with its coffee and spice plantations and exotic flora and fauna. It also has its own unique long-standing social and cultural heritage. Its proximity to lesser known sanctuaries and National Parks like Nagarhole and the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary make it an exciting destination for nature and adventure junkies.
Fun things to see and do
There are plenty of fun activities and adventures to do in this region. Check with your lodge or tour
operator what they can arrange. Take a walk in the many plantations and learn about harvesting tea, coffee and spices; this is a patch of verdant green hills so you are sure to find plenty of birds and small creatures as you take a nature walk. Visit one of the nearby villages and learn about their unique lifestyle; and don’t forget to take a coracle ride down the river and enjoy the serenity this place has to offer. The Bylekuppe Tibetan settlement is also an interesting trip where you can visit monasteries and sample traditional Tibetan food. For those more inclined towards wildlife, safaris can be arranged to a number of Wildlife Sanctuaries and Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Remember to take a packet of Coorg pepper home with you – it has been considered the best in the world.
What to look out for
Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of the elusive tiger or elephants trying to cross your path. Herds of deer and troops of langurs and bonnet macaques entertain you on your safari. Monkeys swinging from branches might come to have a closer look as you drive slowly through the forests and birds will chirp to catch your attention. The Indian pied hornbill and the Malabar giant squirrel are native to the region and you might be able to spot a few on nature walks.
Proposed new roads connecting Kerala and
Karnataka that carve through many of the sanctuaries are being contested and long standing environmental plans for protection of much of these crucial Western Ghat habitats are bitterly opposed by many communities. Your visit is crucial to support the local economy, but please also report abuse or poor practice here.
You can hire a car or get around in your own
Mangalore (135 km) is the closest airport. From here you can hire transport for your lodge.
By Rail / Road:
Mysore (118 km), Bengaluru (255 km) and
Mangalore (135 km) are the nearest railheads
and major towns. Coorg is within driving
distance either in a hired car or in your own
Orange County, Coorg
Bordered by the river Cauvery, Orange County is situated amidst a 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation, in a place often referred to as India’s Scotland. Famous for its coffee, rubber and spices, a stay here is equivalent to that of a colonial planter’s lifestyle.
Imbibe its aromas infused with a rich cultural history and living traditions; and relax within its villas and lawns with old growth trees.
Cropping seasons play a large part in Coorg’s life ensuring a variety of harvest festivals. You can take a guided tour of the working coffee and spice plantation and try your hand at pruning or harvesting. Go bird watching with the resident naturalist or experience the rhythms of local life in the neighbouring Karadigodu village. Alternatively, ask to visit one of a number of National Parks and Sanctuaries in striking distance of the lodge,including Nagarhole and Bramhagiri.
Activities / Special Features:
Choose between a large communal pool and an exclusive infinity pool; go for a plantation or nature walk, bird watching, coracle ride, or a village visit by cycle. Trips can be arranged to Bylekuppe, the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet, complete with a monastery, a Golden temple and a flea market.
There are 55 luxurious accommodation options – Lily Pool Villas, Private Pool Villas, Lily Pool Bungalows and Lily Pool Cottages – spread out in clusters around this working coffee and spice plantation, which are inspired by ethnic Kodava architecture. Each villa has separate living rooms, spacious bedrooms with private courtyards, sit-out areas and private swimming pools.
Choose one of the three restaurants that offer varied cuisines from kebabs and grills to Indian and vegetarian delicacies. Private dinners can also be arranged at the infinity pool deck by the lake or by the poolside in your own Kodava-style Private Pool Villa. For a more intimate experience, ask for a romantic treetop dining experience. Alcohol is also served at the resort.
Open all through the year.
Nearest airport –
Mysore (132 km), Bengaluru (297 km)
Nearest railhead -Mysore (122 km), Mangalore (170 km), Bengaluru (257 km)
+91 80 4191 1170, +91 80 41911171
Green Valley Resort
Set in two and a half acres of lush green plantation overlooking a valley in the South Coorg region, Green Valley offers a serene getaway in the lap of nature. Stay in one of the thirteen rooms that include cottages, tents and a machaan and wake up to a blanket of mist, chirping birds and the
morning sunshine shimmering through the foliage.
Keep yourself entertained with activities such as river rafting, walks around a coffee plantation, bird watching and trekking.
Open all year round.
Nearest airport – Bengaluru (269 km)
Nearest railhead –
Mysore (100 km), Mangalore (180 km)
Nearest park gate –
Nagarhole (22 km); Wayanad Reserve Forest(30 km)
Children of all ages are welcome. There is a
play area for kids.
Further Information and Booking:
+91 99866 30555, +91 93428 33848